Boy, 15, who shot himself accidentally in head dies


A Chicago police officer stands guard June 12, 2015, in the back of an apartment building in the Portage Park neighborhood, where a teen fatally shot himself in the head. (Jose M. Osorio, Chicago Tribune)

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by Rosemary Regina Sobol, Chicago Tribune.

CHICAGO — A 15-­year-­old  Schurz  High  School  student  who  apparently  shot  himself  by  accident  has  died,  according  to authorities.

Bobby  McCullough,  of  the  4100  block  of  West  Cornelia  Avenue,  was  pronounced  dead  at  6:27  p.m.  Friday  at Advocate  Illinois  Masonic  Medical  Center,  according  to  the  Cook  County  medical  examiner’s  office  and  police.

McCullough  suffered  a  gunshot  wound  to  the  left  side  of  his  head  about  7:45  a.m.  Friday  in  the  stairwell  of  an apartment  building  in  the  4700  block  of  West  Addison  Street,  police  said.

When  police  got  there,  the  teen,  who  lives  about  a  mile  away,  was  already  in  an  ambulance,  so  officers  spoke  to two  witnesses,  an  18-­year-­old  man  and  a  17-­year-­old  Schurz  classmate  who  lives  at  the  Addison  address,  according to  a  police  report.

The  classmate  said  he’d  gotten  a  phone  call  from  McCullough  who  told  him  he  was  going  to  come  over.  A  short time  later,  the  15-­year-­old  knocked  on  his  friend’s  back  door  and  all  three  began  talking  in  the  back  stairwell,  the report  said.

The  classmate  told  police  that  he  heard  a  “loud  pop”’  after  peering  down  at  his  phone,  the  report  said.  “He  looked up  and  the  victim  was  lying  on  the  ground  bleeding  from  his  head  with  a  gun  in  his  right  hand,”  the  report  said.

A  45-­year-­old  female  relative  who  lives  with  the  classmate  came  out  of  the  apartment  and  tried  to  stop  the bleeding  with  a  blanket,  the  report  said.

The  18-­year-­old,  who  is  listed  in  the  police  report  as  a  gang  member,  told  police  he  did  not  see  the  weapon  fired, but  also  heard  the  shot  and  saw  the  boy  on  the  ground.

The  two  teens  and  the  45-­year-­old  woman  were  all  interviewed  by  police,  who  listed  the  incident  as  an  accidental injury.

A  couple  of  hours  after  it  happened,  a  black  bicycle  and  backpack  rested  outside  the  apartment’s  back  door,  which was  stained  with  blood.  Nearby  were  a  pair  of  black  headphones  and  a  pack  of  cough  drops.

Karen  Schabes  woke  Friday  morning  to  screams  and  peered  out  her  window  to  see  two  teens  frantically  running from  a  three-­flat  in  Old  Irving  Park  on  the  Northwest  Side.

“It  was  horrific,”  she  said.  “It  sounded  painful.” Schabes  said  the  teens  were  screaming,  “Oh  my  God,”  as  they  ran  from  the  building.

Wayne  Sibenhaller,  a  neighbor  who  lives  right  off  North  Kilpatrick  Avenue,  said  he  was  walking  his  dog  early  in the  morning  when  he  saw  a  boy  run  out  of  the  back  alley  where  the  shooting  occurred  to  flag  down  a  gas  truck.

“The  gas  guy  put  his  head  out  the  window  to  say  something,”  Sibenhaller  said.  “It  seemed  like  the  kid  ran  after  the gas  truck  to  get  some  sort  of  information.”


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